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Full text of "Fish and Wildlife Management Report July 1, 1961"

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No. 58 July, 1961 




ONTARIO 



FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 
REPORT 



PROVINCE OF ONTARIO 
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 

Fish and Wildlife Branch 

(These Reports are for Infra-Departmental Information 
and Not for' Publication) 



Hon. JW. Spooner F.A. MacDougall 

Minister Deputy Minister 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 
No. 53 July, 1961 



Page 

Hungarian (Gray) Partridge Report, Kemptville District, 

Jan. 1, I960 - Jan. 31, 1961. - by J. B. Dawson 1 

Report on Sharp-tailed Grouse, Fort Frances Area, 

Season I960. - by John Miller 9 

North Bay District Ruffed Grouse Report, I960. 

- by J. F. Gage 15 

Grouse in the Geraldton District, I960. 

- by Brian H. Gibson 25 

Hill's Lake Hatchery Experiment No. 10 - Fish Counter 
Evaluation Project. - by N. D. Patrick 34 

Report on Penage Lake Angling Success, I960. 

- by D. R. Hughson 4# 



(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA-DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



- 1 - 

HUNGARIAN (GRAY) PARTRIDGE REPORT 
aEMPTVILLE DISTRICT, 
JAN. 1, I960 - JAN. 31, 1961. 

by 
J. B. Dawson 



Abstract 

Winter covey counts during several of the past 10 
years show monthly trends in partridge mortality. 
About 45% of pre-season populations are lost by the 
end of February. Fifty partridge were live-trapped 
in February I960 and sent to Elgin County. Partridge 
were numerous in the spring of I960, but adverse 
summer weather lowered juvenile survival and in- 
creased the percentage of renesting to IB per cent 
in I960 compared to an eight year average of £.5 
per cent. Pre-season coveys had an average size 
of 11.4 birds compared to an eight year average of 
13. 4« Hunting success was 3<>9 birds per gun-day 
compared to 1+.& birds per gun-day in I960. The 
juv° adult ratio was 2,64, the third lowest in eleven 
years; this compares with a 10 year average of 3«53o 
The juv° adult female ratio was 6.45> about one-half 
the figure for this ratio during the past three 
years. Sex ratios for both adults and juveniles 
were near the long term averages. Six hundred and 
twenty-three birds comprised the I960 sample. 
Hungarian partridge population densities next fall 
will depend in large part on a successful nesting 
season. Adverse summer weather for the second con- 
secutive year could seriously reduce partridge 
populations in eastern Ontario. 



The following report summarizes available Hungarian (Gray) 
Partridge information for the period January 1, I960 to January 31 $ 
1961. Although some of the following information has been summar- 
ized in previous reports , references will be made to data collected 
prior to I960 for purposes of comparison. 

General 

Although the winter of 1959-60 was fairly severe with 
deep snow and low temperatures, partridge wintered well and an 
excellent breeding stock appeared to be present as late as March 
I960. 

Weather across the main partridge range was poor, es- 
pecially in May when heavy rainfall occurred early in the month; 
this was followed by unseasonably low temperatures. Chick and 
egg mortality no doubt caused the lower than average covey size 
noted this fall; average covey size was also influenced by a great- 
er percentage of renesting this year. Hunting pressure was the 



- 2 - 

heaviest we have seen and a few of the smaller coveys were seriously 
reduced in size. While our December census has turned up some sur- 
prisingly strong coveys, and it is evident that a good many coveys, 
no doubt, were not shot over at all, a larger sample of birds 
observed in January indicated that coveys were significantly smaller 
than usual. 

Winter Covey Counts 

Our December and January census gives a good idea of 
partridge mortality during the hunting season. Later counts indi- 
cate regression in covey size throughout the winter months, and 
show the effects of weather, predation, etc, on survival, as well 
as the potential spring breeding population. 

Table 1 shows averages for pre-season covey sizes compared 
to average covey size later in the winter. 

Table 1 : Regression in Average Covey Size by Month and 
Per cent Reduction from Pre-season Averages 

Per cent Reduction 
Year Month ( s ) Average Covey Size from Pre-season Ave. 

1951-52 Sept-Oct* 1951 

December 1951 

January 1952 

1957-53 Sept-Oct. 1957 

December 1957 

January 1953 

February 1953 

1953-59 Sept-Oct. 1953 

December 1953 

January 1959 

February 1959 

1959-60 September 1959 

December 1959 

January I960 

February I960 

I960 September I960 

December I960 

January 1961 

* Census conducted in September and first few days of October, 
Only unshot coveys recorded. 

Number in brackets denotes number of coveys in sample. 

Pre-season coveys in I960 were the smallest on record, 
averaging only 11.4 birds, December counts are too few to be 
reliable, but the large January sample shows a reduction of only 
25 per cent from the pre-season average. This may represent actual 
conditions, but it is possible that very small coveys have joined 
forces, masking actual mortality from September to January. 



12.7 (30)** 




9-7 (16) 


23.6 


7.9 (12) 


37.3 


16.2 (33) 




10,4 1 


!33) 


35.3 


9.6 1 


:44) 


40.7 


15.3 < 


|21) 




11.1 1 


33 


27.4 


10.5 


[49) 


31.3 


9.1 1 


[42) 


40.5 


15.5 1 


[42) 




9.9 1 


163) 


36.1 


3.9 I 


,32) 


42.6 


11.4 


;36) 




11.4 1 


; 9) 




3.5 1 


163) 


25.4 



- 3 - 

Although December data are meagre, they do suggest that 
about 25 per cent of the pre-season population is lost by late 
December, about 35 per cent by mid-January and about 40 per cent 
by mid-February,, 

Since figures on monthly covey size are averages of counts 
taken during each month, coveys would be somewhat smaller at the end 
of each month than is indicated in Table 1. By the end of February 
the average covey contains closer to eight birds and the reduction 
from the pre-season population would approach 45 per cent on an 
annual basis. 

We were surprised at the remarkable similarity in average 
covey size for the month of February even when substantial differ- 
ences in average fall covey size occurred. This suggests that fall 
and winter losses may be density-denendent. 

Winter 

The past two winters have been most severe, with deep 
snow and periods of extremely low temperatures* We have seen no 
evidence that normal winter weather (no sleet) has seriously affect- 
ed partridge populations, and in good range, the birds withstand 
extreme weather very well. We consider that a very good Hun popu- 
lation survived to late February and early March, I960. At this 
time, coveys break up and pairs are not seen very often. 

Winter Trapping 

Although snow was deep, partridge were difficult to trap 
in I960 and considerable effort was required to catch the 50 birds 
which were sent to Elgin County. Intermittent mild weather seemed 
to affect trapping results and it may be that continuing cold 
weather is needed to trap Huns successfully. 

Our wire "funnel" traps were modified somewhat last win- 
ter and a ""'trap door" type operated with propped stick and attached 
string" appeared to work better under certain conditions; this type 
of trap catches the complete covey more frequently than does the 
"funnel" type. 

The Nesting Season 

The main nesting period was considerably later than in 
1959, but only slightly later than the long term average. Figure 
1 indicates graphically the main peak of the hatch for the past 
several years; data were taken from wing moult data as described 
by Petrides (1951) • 

A warm sunny April was followed by cool wet weather in 
May, and although little rain of any consequence fell in June, 
temperatures during the both months were below normal. This, we 
believe, resulted in an abnormally high loss of initial nesting 
attempts and resulted in an increase in renesting. 





































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- 5 - 

Table 2 shows that 64 of 353 birds hatched after July 26 9 
giving a renesting figure of IS per cento This compares to an 
eight year average of 8.5 per cent. It was evident during the open 
season that an unusually large percentage of very young birds was 
present; by far the greatest number we have seen. In 1959, because 
of a very early hatch we estimated that all birds which hatched 
after July 12 were the result of two or more nestings. This pro- 
duced a renesting figure of 17 per cent which we now consider 
unrealistic, especially when we consider the average size of 1959 
September coveys (15 « 5 Birds). If the usual date of July 26 is 
used to separate initial nestings from renestings, then renesting 
constituted only 6.4 per cent of the 1959 sample. This latter 
figure was used in obtaining the eight year renesting average of 
$.5 per cent. 

Hatching Dates of Hungarian Partridge 
195S - 1959 - I960 



Period 


1958 

No. Birds 


% of 

Total 


1959 
No. Birds 


% of 
Total 


I960 
No. Birds 


% of 
Total 


May 25 - 31 


-- 




14 


6.0 


-- 




June 1-7 


-- 




51 


22.0 


19 


5o3B 


June $-14 


2 


1.19 


22 


9o5 


29 


3.21 


June 15-21 


24 


23*3 


30 


12.9 


52 


14.73 


June 22-2$ 


29 


23.1 


54 


23o3 


go 


22.66 


June 29-July 5 


16 


15c5 


15 


6.5 


33 


9o35 


July 6-12 


22 


21.4 


7 


3.0 


41 


11.61 


July 13-19 


3 


7*3 


15 


6.5 


15 


4o25 


July 20-26 


— 




9 


3*9 


20 


5o67 


July 27-Aug. 2 


-- 




11 


4o7 


19 


5o3S 


Aug. 3-9 


-- 




2 


o9 


20 


5o67 


Aug. 10-16 


-- 




2 


o9 


15 


4*25 


Aug. 17-23 


2 


1.9 


-- 




4 


1.13 


Aug. 24-27 


-- 




-- 




6 


1.71 


TOTAL 


103 




232 




353 





For the second year a special effort was made to locate 
partridge nests. In the summer of 1959, two men searched for nests 
for over one week in late May and early June. Several methods were 
tried; the most promising included dragging, across grassy cover, a 



- 6 - 

nylon rope with tin cans containing rattling stones attached. No 
nests were located during the intensive searches and it has been 
demonstrated on several occasions that hen partridge sit very 
tightly and are difficult to flush. Several sources state that hens 
flush more readily in the early stages of incubation, but this has 
not been borne out, at least in two instances A tractor mowing 
hay on July 3 S 1959j "straddled" a hen partridge before she flushed,, 
One egg was taken from the nest and inspection showed that the 
embryo was in the 7th day of development • The next day I touched 
the hen with my hand before she flushed , In June I960 a farmer 
fixing a fence stepped on an incubating hen partridge. The hen 
escaped without injury and an egg taken from the nest was found to 
be in the 5th day of incubation. 

Very few nests have been observed to date. In 1959 we 
visited several schools in the Winchester area and requested that 
all nests be reported to us. Although several pupils told of 
finding nests previously, no nests were reported in 1959. This year 
we publicized our request for nest locations in the Winchester and 
Chesterville Dapers and two nests were reported to us. The follow- 
ing table summarizes our nesting datas 
Table 3° 

Area Year No, Eggs Location of Remarks 

Nest 



Alexandria 1953 16 

Winchester 

SDrings 1959 21 



Roadside Grass Hatched July 5 



Hayfield 



Eggs Dipping June 28, 
Hen killed by mower. 
All lost. 



Ingleside 1959 



Munster 



1959 



Brinston 1959 



Brinston 1958 



23 



17 



18 



21 



Roadside Grass 



Hayfield 10 « 
from fence 



Hayfield 
near edge 

Hayfield 
near edge 



Full clutch on May 28, 
Mowing caused desertion,. 

Embryo 7 days old on 
July 3/59o Hen incu- 
bated, but predator 
destroyed nest. 

Mowed over nest. Hen 
killed 

Nest mowed over. 
Deserted, 



Alma 



I960 



Ingleside I960 



22 



19 



Directly under 
page wire fence 
in grass 

Roadside grass 



20 hatched June 29- 



13 hatched last week 
in June 



Ingleside I960 



14 



Open grass, 
40 ft, from 
road. Near 
small tree. 



All hatched - time 
unknown. 



- 7 - 

Haying in I960 was late, due to very wet weather in May 
and unseasonably low temperatures in both May and June. The first 
field mowed was noted on June 16, but the peak of mowing did not 
occur until the first two weeks in July Slightly less than 50 per 
cent of SO hayfields observed between Winchester Springs and 
Kemptville had been mowed by July 12, 1960 e Hayfield counts will 
be made in future to obtain accurate information concerning hay 
mowing o 

Since the peak of the hatch and the main mowing period 
compares closely to similar data during previous years, we can 
assume that nest losses from farming activities should have been 
about normal. Wet, cool weather probably caused the increase in 
renesting and late hatches* 

Pre-season Covey Counts 

The months of August and September were unusually hot 
and dry and poor scenting conditions made the pre-season census 
difficult. The average size of 36 coveys was 11.4 birds compared 
to an eight year average of 13.4 birds. 

The I960 Open Season 

The season extended from September 24 to November 19. Most 
birds were harvested during the first week and hunting pressure was 
the heaviest we have seen during the past five years. Greater 
interest in the Hun has been shown locally and more pointing dogs 
are appearing each year from the Ottawa area. We still consider 
that Hun populations could withstand much greater hunting pressure 
and present hunter densities still must be considered light. 

Birds were difficult to locate early in the season, and 
hot, dry weather conditions probably had much to do with this. 
Huns were ' ,? down fi somewhat from 1959; coveys may have been as numer- 
ous, but there were more small coveys and a greater percentage of 
young, immature birds than usual. (See fig. 1 and Table 2). 

Hunting Success 

Although most parties considered Hun shooting to be moder- 
ately good, hunting success did drop this year as Table 4 indicates. 



Table 4: 



Hungarian Partridge Hunting Success 
1956-1960 



Year No. Gun-days Birds Taken Birds /Gun Day 

1956 12 35 2.9 

1957 56 188 3.3 

1958 40 146 3.6 

1959 77 371 4.8 

1960 194 747 3.9 

Sex and Age Ratios 

Table 5 summarizes 11 years of sex and age data. Since 

1950, 2,412 Huns have been sexed and aged. 



- a - 

Table 5" Sex and Age Ratios of Hungarian Partridge 

Hunters * Bags - 1950 - I960 



Year 


Total 
Birds 


Juv/ 
Adult 


Juv/ 
Adult 8 


Adult 


% 
Juvenile 


1950 


140 


4.34 


3.92 


45.3 


9 

54.2 


d" 
46.3 


53.2 


1951 


169 


4.2^ 


13.70 


67.7 


32.3 


41.3 


53.2 


1952 


153 


3.02 


11.50 


70.6 


29.4 


52.2 


47.3 


1953 


252 


I065 


3.4S 


52.6 


47.4 


37.7 


62.3 


1954 


213 


3.01 


3.00 


62.3 


37.7 


33.6 


61.4 


1955 


12 


5.00 


5.00 


— 


— 


40.0 


60.0 


1956 


35 


1.91 


5.75 


66.6 


33.4 


56.5 


43.5 


1957 


140 


6.00 


13.33 


55.0 


45.0 


52.1 


47.9 


1953 


209 


3. 39 


11.00 


64.1 


35.9 


480 4 


51.6 


1959 


466 


5.13 


11.10 


53.0 


47.0 


46.9 


53.1 



Average - 10 years 3.53 3.47 57.9 42.1 45.6 54.4 
I960 623 2.64 6.45 53.5 41.5 43.6 51.4 

Our observations concerning smaller covey size this year are 
borne out by the low ratio of juveniles to adults. The I960 ratio 
of 2.64 is the third lowest in eleven years, and the second lowest 
if the meagre 1956 data are omitted. It compares with a 10 year 
average of 3.53. The very low ratio of I.65 in 1953 preceded a par- 
tridge decline in 1955s and we hope history does not repeat itself 
in this respect. It should oe noted also, that the I960 ratio of 
juvenile to adult female is 6.45? about one-half the figure for 
this ratio during the past three years. The 10 year average is 3.47. 

A good nesting season in 1961 is required if Huns are to 
maintain good densities. Adverse weather for the seconc 3 consecutive 
year during the critical summer period could lower the 1961 fall 
population drastically. 

References: 

Petrides, G. A., 1951 - Notes on Age Determination in Juvenal 

European Quail. Jour. Wildl. Mgt., 
15(1): 116-117. 



- 9 - 

REPORT ON SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, 
FORT FRANCES AREA, SEASON I960 



by 
John Miller 



Abstract 

A study was made of the Sharp-tailed Grouse population 
of Carpenter Township, an area of 24 9 000 acres in Fort 
Frances District, Flushing counts were made on six 
dancing grounds and a total of 88 cocks counted for an 
average of ll+»6 cocks per ground . The largest ground 
counted carried 24 birds. The program also involved 
live-trapping and banding, nesting studies on 10 nests, 
food studies on 21 birds taken during the hunting 
season and fall sex and age ratios „ With the apparently 
stable population at present and the light hunting pres- 
sure on Sharp-tailed Grouse in the district it was con- 
sidered debatable whether any management program would 
be justified at the present time. However, it was felt 
that this condition might change in the near future and 
certain techniques are suggested which could be applied 
to a future management program. 



Spring Census : 

The I960 Spring census was limited to one township. We 
felt in this way it would be a more concentrated study. 

We chose the township of Carpenter as we felt it was 
average as far as favourable habitat was concerned in the townships 
in the farming area. 

The township of Carpenter is made up of approximately 
24,000 acres of land. Twenty per cent or 4$00 acres of this is 
D. A. L. or grass lands, Fifteen per cent or 36OO acres is muskeg. 
The remaining sixty-five per cent is made up of young poplar 0-20 
year age class. 

Method of Taking Census ; 

In May dancing grounds were located. This was accom- 
plished by driving roads and stopping every half mile. We were 
able to cover practically all the townships in this manner as it 
was fairly well divided by roads. 

We feel we located all dancing grounds. To make a more 
accurate census, each dancing ground was visited several times at 
intervals and a recount made and recorded each time. 



- 10 - 

Results of Census : 

A total of six dancing grounds were located in the townships 
The following is a list which consists of the largest number of birds 
found in each dancing ground on our various visits: 

Dancing ground no, 1-24 birds 

" ,? <? 2 - 11 birds 

■ ? •' " 3 - IS birds 

• f •' " 4-14 birds 

?? »• " 5-9 birds 

» " ,f 6 ~ 12 birds 

Total No. of birds on dancing grounds - 88 . 

We will assume that all birds on the dancing grounds at 
the time our counting was done were males. By using a ratio of 
two^^to each ? we theoretically devise that there are 132 birds 
on 36 sq. miles of land or 3«45 birds per sq, mile. This would be 
before nesting take place „ 

It is not known however just how much land these birds 
are utilizing outside the townships or how much of the 36 sq. miles 
would be suitable Sharp-tail habitat. 

Let us assume also that all birds do nest in the townships 
and that four of each brood reach maturity. We then should have, by 
fall, a population of S.5 birds per sq. mile, This of course is 
computed on theory and assumption only. 

Live-trapping and Band ing: 

A shortage of men and the fact that the walleye run coin- 
cided with the time the trapping was done meant we were unable to 
put in enough time at it to produce total satisfactory results. 

The cannon nets were set five times each on a different 
date. 

1st - Set - cannons had too much elevation and the birds flew before 
the net settled over theni, 

2nd - Set - the net caught in heavy stubble and thus pulled to one 
side. 

3rd - Set - five birds were caught. Three were banded and released 
the other two were badly injured with broken wings. 

4th - Set - four birds were caught. Three were banded and released 
one was dead when taken from net. 

5th - Set - five birds were caught. Four were banded and released. 
One had a broken wing. 

Total number banded and released - 10 birds. 



- 11 - 

lst s 2nd, and 3rd sets of nets were on a dancing ground 
holding IS birds . The area was situated on a field of grain that 
had been cut by combine . The heavy stubble proved to be a diffi- 
cult area in which to set and release the net without damaging it. 

4th & 5th sets of nets were on a dancing ground of 12 
birds e This area was situated on a plowed field which proved an 
easier setting in which to utilize the nets, We also used burlap 
bags on the 4th & 5th settings to cover the birds with until they 
were taken out from under the net. This proved quite satisfactory 
as a means to quiet the birds and thus prevent them from injuring,, 
themselves „ 

We feel that experience we gained this year in handling 
the cannon net should make future efforts run more smoothly and 
thus produce more satisfactory results. We also felt that with 
the use of the burlap bags we could greatly reduce the number of 
dead and injured birds . 

Nesting s 

Ten nests were located around the six dancing grounds 
previously mentioned.. These nests were checked periodically.. 

Listed below are the results of these checks,. 

Nest No o No. of eggs No. Hatched 

1 12 9 

2 g g 

3 14 10 

4 10 10 

5 12 destroyed 

6 11 9 

7 13 11 

8 9 9 

9 11 8 

10 12 destroyed 

Average number of eggs per nest - 11.2 
Per cent of hatch - 66% 



Number 5 nest was completely destroyed, from indications 
it appeared to be skunks. 

In nest number 10 three eggs were broken and the nest 
was deserted as a result. It is not known if any renesting occurred. 

We were unable to keep track of individual coveys after 
they were hatched. It is believed at this time greatest mortality 
occurs. 

If future nesting work is done it may be of some value 
if colored bands were placed on nesting hens or colored tail feathers 
attached to identify individual broods. 

Perhaps in this way it would be possible to ascertain the 
mortality rate after hatching occurs. 



- 12 - 



Food ; 

The crops of 21 Sharp-tailed Grouse were examined during 
the fall of I960 in an effort to establish if any changes in their 
food habits occurred as the season progressed,, 

Twelve of the twenty-one birds examined were taken in the 
first two weeks of the hunting season. 

The following is a list of what the crops contained,, 

2 birds - grasshoppers 
1 bird - corn & clover 
1 bird - grain (oats) 
8 birds - clover 

We feel from observation that at this time of year the 
birds feed heavily on muskeg berries. The reason the crops we 
examined did not contain berries is probably because birds feeding 
on a muskeg unless fairly close to a road s are virtually free from 
hunting pressure. 

None other bird crops were examined at different periods 
throughout the remainder of the season. Two of the nine examined 
were road kills after the season was closed, 

clover 

clover & blueberries 

empty 1 bird - clover 

cranberries 

cranberries 

Aspen buds 

Aspen buds 

Fall Sex & Age Ratios ; 

Adults Juveniles 



October 


10 


- 


2 birds 


?? 


21 


- 


1 bird 


.? 


31 


- 


1 bird 


Nov, 


19 


- 


1 bird 


i» 


21 


- 


1 bird 


Dec, 


9 


- 


1 bird 


it 


6 


- 


1 bird 



Male 
12 



Female 
8 



Sex Ratio: 

Juv: Adult Ratio 

Juv: Adult Female Ratio 



Male 
44 

I960 
2 <w : 1? 
3o2 : 1 

8 : 1 



195$ sample - 144 birds 
1957 sample - 33 birds 



Female 
20 



1959 



Total 
34 



195^ 1957 

76<tt ": 1009? WlTj : 10099 

-- 1.77 :1 2.16 : 1 

— 3.07 :1 4o33 : 1 



Ratios for the 195$ & 1957 seasons are shown for comparison 
- there were no ratios obtained for the 1959 season. 

We are unable to interpret this. 

Management 

Considering the seemingly stable population at present and 
the light hunting pressure on Sharp-tailed Grouse in the district, 
it is debatable whether any management program would be justified 
at the present time. We do feel s however, that in the near future 



- 13 - 

the Sharp-tailed Grouse will come into its own as a game bird to 
both resident and non-resident hunters . It has been noted already 
in the past two years that there has been a very noticeable in- 
crease in the number of non-resident hunting parties coming into 
the district for the sole purpose of hunting sharp-tails. This has 
been most noticeable in the west end of the farming district. 
There seems to be also a growing number of resident hunters taking 
to the fields with shotguns instead of driving the roads with 22 
rifles. 

If management of grouse is not practical at this time we 
feel it will be in the near future in a minor degree at least. 
There are three techniques which could be applied in a management 
program of Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Fort Frances area. These are : - 

(1) Regulating the hunting season. 

(2) Predator control. 

(3) Improved habitat. 

(1) Regulating the season could act as a means of limiting 
the kill or increasing it. A late opening of the season would 
mean a low kill. Cold cloudy and windy weather, young birds 
starting to mature . and flocking tendencies starting around mid- 
October. All could tend to attribute to wild nervous birds. 
What ever the reason the birds do become wild as the season pro- 
gresses regardless of the hunting pressure. 

By opening the season earlier the kill could be increased. 
During the first two weeks of the present season the birds will 
usually sit fairly well for either ''walking them up" or using dogs. 
If the season was opened a week earlier the total kill would be in- 
creased. The birds at this time are still in small coveys and would 
hold fairly well. However we wonder if the young birds would be 
mature or big enough at this time. Late hatches would undoubtably 
be fairly small. 

Perhaps because of the low kill in the district at the 
present time some consideration should be given to opening the 
season earlier to increase the total kill-, 

(2) We do not feel it is practical to have a large scale 
predator control as it is expensive and may also have an adverse 
effect. The type of control we have in mind is to promote the 
shooting of crows in the off season by groups of local sportsmen. 
We believe that crows contribute to the destroying of Sharp-tailed 
Grouse eggs as well as waterfowl during the nesting season. 

It is noted, however, that the skunk population is in- 
creasing in the district and they probably do as much, if not more, 
damage to nests as the crows,. 

(3) Improved habitat is probably the most important management 
technique. At present there appears to be sufficient summer food. 
It has come to our attention, through the number of abandoned farms 
grown back up and the planting of seedlings on most of the available 
cleared crown land, that this does reduce the open spaces with grass 
and shelter which serve as dancing and nesting areas. 



- 14 - 

Quite a bit of poplar in the farming district is at the 
stage where it is of little use to game and has little or no com- 
mercial value . Controlled burning in such areas as well as aban- 
doned farm land would have much value It would open up areas 
suitable for sharp-tail habitat and also bring forth a new growth 
of poplar which would provide browse for deer 

Many things must be considered, however, before such 
burning should be carried out- the potential commercial value of 
the area in respect to timber, and the proper control of such f ires o 



- 15 - 

NORTH BAY DISTRICT RUFFED GROUSE REPORT, I960 

by 
J. F. Gage 



Abstract 

The report deals with a study made on Ruffed Grouse 
in the North Bay District during I960. Information 
is given on drum counts, brood counts, hunter success and 
sex and age ratios gained from wing and tail collections 
of some 720 birds. Survival of young birds was less 
than half when compared to 1959, 1:3 •# to 1:3.6. Some 
$55 hunters were checked with a total grouse kill of 
408 birds or slightly less than 0.5 grouse per hunter* 
In 1959 the hunter success was 0.75 birds per hunter* 



Drum Counts 

Conservation Officers were instructed on the method for 
making drum counts and courses were laid out for this purpose. The 
plans were interrupted, however, by deer yard surveys. When 
Officers did get an occasional opportunity between deer yard sur- 
veys the weather was not appropriate. Heavy winds were especially 
troublesome. The information on drum counts collected by Officers 
was, therefore, negligible and could not be compared with other 
data. 

Brood Counts 

Brood counts were recorded by Conservation Officers and 
other field staff from June through to September. A report was 
submitted to Head Office up to the end of July. Brood count data 
for the entire summer and early fall period has been compiled in 
Table I. It should be noted that grouse broods are recorded by 
staff during the course of their regular duties. Since there is 
no special effort in covering a specific distance within con- 
trolled periods of time to count grouse broods, the records are 
collected more by chance than intent. A total of S2 broods were 
recorded containing some 501 grouse chicks for an annual average 
of 6.2 chicks per brood. We do not believe that this figure is 
particularly significant in a consideration of the post-shoot 
population, however, since the brood size declines as the age of 
the brood progresses. For example, an examination of the brood 
counts for each month shows a decline from an average brood size 
in June of seven chicks to 3»7 birds in September. See Table II. 



H 



TABLE I 



- 16 - 



Patrol 


# 


General Area 


No. of 
Broods 


Average 
Chicks 
per Brood 


1 




Haileybury 


12 


4°6 


2 




Temagami 


6 


5.0 


3 




Martin River 


8 


6.8 


4 




McLaren ? s Bay 


5 


4» 8 


5 




Sturgeon Falls 


10 


3.0 


6 




Monetville 


13 


7o3 


7 




North Bay 


8 


6.3 


8 




Mattawa 


7 


4 o 2 


Individual Reports 


13 


9o9 






Total 


£2 





Total 
Chicks 


Total 
Grouse 
Harvested 


56 


61 


30 


122 


55 


115 


24 


69 


30 


94 


96 


148 


51 


14 


30 


78 


129 





501 



701 



Average chicks per brood 6.2 

Hunter Success 

A new method was initiated in I960 to collect information 
on hunting success. Conservation Officers were asked to select 
several keen grouse hunters in their patrol and get them to co- 
operate in keeping records of their grouse hunting excursions. 
Since official grouse record cards were not available at the time, 
some mimeographed forms were used (Figure I). 

The response to this method was almost a complete failure, 
We had hoped to accumulate at least 400 hours of hunting exclusive 
of road hunting by car. Only one hunter co-operated and turned in 
a total of 22 hours of hunting on seven forms. 



Conservation Officers depende 
co-operation and recorded only meagre i 
and birds killed. This resulted in poo 
in I960. From the records kept by our 
855 hunters were checked with a total g 
a little less than one-half a grouse pe 
favourable with general .impressions on 
when each hunter killed on the average 
of a grouse. 



d almost entirely on this 
nformation on hunters checked 
r data on hunting success 
Officers we found that some 
rouse kill of 408 birds or 
r hunter. This compares 
the hunt as compared to 1959 
of .75 or three-quarters 



We still believe that the seasonal record or actual records 
of hunting trips by hunters, who hunt in the bush as well as on the 
roads, would provide the best information. 





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RUFFED GROUSE HUNTING STUDY 

Please complete a new card for each day 9 s hunting 

iv 0.171 G oeoooo?ooeo*oooooooooooo9«oc«e0e nQQiOOS ceoo»oeooo»eooo*oocrcoo#ooo 

JJ3. L-G OX nU.n'C 1 9eoo90*oof»o«ouoopooo*ooo 1 OWliSnXp tlUn L6 : l oo«o«ooeo«ooooo«o»o 

(If unknown state area) 
Method of Hunting 
Road Hunting From Automobile 
Number in Party. . . . „ „ . • „ • . . . Number in Party. ........... ••*.»• 

1'illGS L>ravej.J.eQeooaoa..oo.#*«a.«oo*. JJOg USeQo.ee o.c XeSeeeeee IMOoeee. 

Number of Ruffed Grouse seen,,,,,,,. Number of Ruffed Grouse seen...,, 
Number of Ruffed Grouse bagged...... Number of Ruffed Grouse bagged, o. 

MOUrS nlin UGQ ooeooooee.».oeoeoo.*<* 

Comments"- 



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Temporal Distribution of Kill 

The temporal distribution of 720 grouse has been presented 
in graphic form in Figure 2, Each column represents seven days 
except for the right hand column which covers only the last two days 
of the season* 

The kill of grouse remained low for the first three weeks 
after the season opened but almost tripled in the fourth week 
(October 6th to 12th). The kill did not hold up in the fifth week, 
falling sharply and falling again in the sixth week. In the seventh 
week it rose again and then continued in a downward trend until the 
end of the season. 

There is a portion of the North Bay District south of #17 
Highway for which the grouse season does not open until September 
24th, nine days later than the general open season. This difference 
is not reflected in the temporal distribution for the entire district. 

In- comparing the temporal distribution of I960 with that of 

1959 we find that it follows fairly well except that the 1959 kill held 

up into the fifth week. Otherwise, the peak kill is at about the same 
time in both years. 



- 19 - 



174 





















Temp 


oral D - 


Lstribution Ruff 


ed ( 


Arouse 








Kill North Bay District, I960 








(720 birds) 


Fi£„ 2 
















105 








36 
















73 






61 
















64 






50 




54 






























34 


































' 




































^ 
































17 




r 








































2 








































, [ ( 



Sept. 
15-21 22-23 29-5th 

Oct. 6-12 13-19 20-26 27-2 

Nov. 3-9 10-16 17-23 24-25 



- 20 - 

Distribution of Grouse Killed 

The kill distribution throughout the district has been pre- 
pared on a map* See Figure 3o Distribution of the kill reflects our 
road systems and methods of hunting, A comparison of the 1959 and 
I960 distribution maps will show that they are almost identical al- 
though there are some 175 birds less on the I960 map. 

Sex Ratios 

The sex ratios again appear to be in reasonable limits. 
See Tables III and IV. The reversal of sex ratios in females be- 
tween juvenile and adult grouse is again apparent in the figures . 
It is interesting to speculate whether this difference is a real 
one within the population or only a superficial difference in the 
kill due to the hunting methods or behaviour pattern of the birds „ 
In any event the condition is directly opposed to that reported in 
work done in New York and reported in "The Ruffed Grouse" Bump, 
Darrow, Edminster and Crissey, 1947 which states: "As the summer 
wanes there seems to be a consistent tendency to a slight prepond- 
erance of males among birds of the year. This often results in a 
few more males than females in the whole population through the 
fall and winter. Then the balance changes in the spring as the 
males suffer a somewhat higher loss as a result of courtship acti- 
vities. In later spring and in the summer the population of females 
among the older birds generally exceeds that of the males." 

In a report "Ontario Ruffed Grouse Studies, 1959 ,? (Lumsden, 
I960) 58. &% of the seventeen districts reporting have this same re- 
versal of sex ratio, while 23.5$ of the districts report no change 
in sex ratios. 

In a further consideration of this condition we have 
plotted both sexes of the juvenile birds recorded for the I960 
hunt on a temporal basis using a unit of three weeks each. The 
results shown in Table V reveal a gradual change from September 
15th to November 16th in the sex balance of these juvenile birds. 

If a real imbalance between young females and males 
really exists it must take place by a reduction of males. These 
data suggest that this reduction has already begun before the 
open season commences. A great deal more information is required 
on this phase, probably more than we are able to collect in a 
single district. 

Age Ratios 

The age ratio for the I960 kill described in terms of 
juveniles per each adult female is 1 : 3»$.. This is a considerable 
reduction as compared to the 1959 age ratio which was 1 1 $.6. An 
average survival of almost four young birds per brood is considered 
fairly good. The average brood size recorded in our brood 
counts for the first three weeks of September was 3»7» 

The age ratio between adults and juveniles is difficult 
to interpret in terms of the grouse population since our chief method 
of hunting grouse is by road hunting. This method is complimentary 
to juvenile birds and introduces a bias in their favour. However, 



i-t 



ii.y -i.''U ■ . r 



- 21 - 



NORTH BAY DISTRICT 




Mattawa 



MILES 



20 



10 







20 



40 



I^^HHL 



I960 Grouse Season Kill 

Distribution 
= 5 birds 

Total 720 Grouse 



- 22 - 



TABLE III 



Summary of Material Collected in I960 



Adult 


Males 


144 


Adult 


Females 


114 


Total 


Adults 


25S 

Juvenile Males 
Juvenile Females 



Age Ratio 



Total Juveniles 



175 
252 

427 



Birds in doubt 

Total 

Spruce Grouse 
Total 

TABLE IV ; 
Age Ratio 

Adults 
270 



Age Ratio per Adult Female 114 
1959 Ratio " » " 73 
1953 Ratio " " " 26 



253 

427 

29 

714 

21 
735 



Juveni 


les 




444 




= 714 


444 




= 1:3.3 


673 




= 1:3.6 


97 




= 1:3.7 



Sex Ratio 



Sex Ratio of Adults 
Sex Ratio of Juveniles 



Male Female 



144 
175 



114 
252 



1:0.79 
1:1.44 



- 23 - 

TABLE V 



Temporal Distribution of Juvenile 
Grouse Sexes in the Kill 



Three Week Periods 
September 15 - October 5 
October 6 - October 26 
October 27 - November 16 



Males 


Females 


Sex Ratios 


43 


5S 


rflsl.20** 


75 


106 


*1:1.U*« 


40 


63 


<fl:1.70«* 



in I960 we had an open season for moose commencing on October 15th, 
and a good number of grouse were taken by hunters on foot away from 
the roads . Leaf fall was somewhat retarded in I960 as compared to 
1959 and grouse hunting along the roads was not very rewarding, 
forcing some hunters into the woods. These two factors may explain 
the higher incidence of adults in the I960 grouse bag* 

It is felt that the age ratio recorded in I960 is a closer 
approximation of the actual age ratio in the population than is the 
extremely high ratio of young birds recorded in 1959. 

Spruce Grouse 

A total of 21 Spruce Grouse were collected along with the 
other material. They were not included with this report since the 
sample size is too small for proper analysis. 

Summary and Conclusions 

(1) The sample collected, 720 birds, was less by 175 birds 
than the sample collected in 1959. The survival of young birds was 
less than half 1:3-8 when compared to 1959? 1 : 3.6. 

(2) The sexing of Ruffed Grouse still offers some diffi- 
culty and the central tail feathers were measured to reduce any 
doubtful determinations wherever possible. 

(3) The change from an almost perfect 50 : 50 ratio in 
new born grouse chicks to a preponderance of females by the end of 
the grouse season is revealed in the kill statistics. This prepon- 
derance of females is further confused by preponderance of males in 
the adult kill. Whether or not this difference is real or only a 
reflection -of hunting methods or behaviour patterns is something 
which bears further investigation. 

(4) The temporal distribution of the kill shows a slight 
shift in mid October with an increase in late October and early 
November. This may have been brought about by a retarded leaf fall 
of about ten days compared to 1959. 



- 24 - 

(5) The distribution of the kill in the North Bay- 
District reflects the road systems and is almost identical to dis- 
tribution data for 1959« 

(6) Hunter success figures are extremely meagre. The 
establishment of collecting voluntary returns from a few selected 
hunters was a failure. We believe the system will work, however, 
and plan to try it again. Hunter success was down compared to 
1959. 

Recommendations 

(I) Although the hunter success was down fluctuations can 
be expected as normal with this species. No changes are recommended 
either in the lengths nor periods of time of the open season nor in 
the bag limits, 

(II) It is recommended that special grouse kill cards be 
prepared along the general lines of the regular game bag census 
cards. We feel that our own mimeographed forms did not carry suffi- 
cient appeal or official sanction to stimulate the co-operation 
which is necessary in any voluntary return. 

Literature Cited 

Bump, Gardiner, Robert W. Darrow, Frank C, Edminster and Walter F, 
Crissey, 1947* The Ruffed Grouse - Life History, Propagation and 
Management, New York State Conservation Department, Albany, 915 pp« 

Lumsden, H. G. I960, Ontario Ruffed Grouse Studies, 1959, Unpublished 
report, mimeo, Ont, Dept, Lands & Forests. 



- 25 - 

GROUSE IN THE GERALD TON DISTRICT, I960 

by 
Brian H. Gibson 



Abstract 

A study was conducted on the results of the I960 
grouse season in Geraldton District. Conclusions are 
based on 143 Ruffed Grouse, 63 Spruce Grouse and 31 
Sharp-tailed Grouse wing and tail sets collected 
mainly by a selected group of six hunters from each 
of the divisions in the district. This was supple- 
mented by collections made in the field whenever possible 
Sex and age ratios, weather conditions during the post 
hatching season, broo.i counts, hatching dates and 
hunter successare considered in this report. Results 
from the wing and tail sets study indicated a Ruffed 
Grouse juvenile to hen ratio of 3.9^ Spruce Grouse 
juvenile to hen ratio of 6.0° Sharp-tailed Grouse 
juvenile to hen ratio of $.7<> Ruffed Grouse brood 
counts averaged 5»9 juveniles per hen for the summer 
while Spruce Grouse averaged five juveniles per hen. 
Hunters on foot saw an average of 116 grouse per 
hundred man-hours. Grouse shot numbered S3 per 
hundred man- hours . 



The I960 hunting season yielded a larger sample of wings 
and tails of both Ruffed and Spruce Grouse than did 1959. Several 
wings and tails of Sharp-tailed Grouse were submitted this year in 
contrast with last year when none was received. Collections of 
wings and tails were made primarily by a selected group of six hunters 
from each of the divisions in the district. This method appears to 
have been more satisfactory than a mass appeal to hunters. To 
supplement this source of wings and tails, collections were made in 
the field whenever possible; hunters were found to be generally 
co-operative in the field collections. 

The 143 complete Ruffed Grouse wing and tail sets sent in, 
though an increase in number over the 95 sets of 1959, were a dis-- 
appoint ingly small sample. This does not appear to be indicative of 
hunter success, but seems to show apathy on the part of the average 
hunter, who considers it too much trouble to submit the sets. 

This apathy on the part of the hunter was demonstrated in 
the Macdiarmid division of the district. Ten large-size envelopes 
with a return Department address, with each containing six smaller 
envelopes, were handed to hunters in the field who were actually 
hunting grouse, along with a detailed explanation of the purpose of 
collecting the wings and tails. Only one of the large envelopes was 
returned with wings and tails. Admittedly, some of the ten hunters 
might have shot no birds, and therefore, it might be unfair to judge 
all of the ten hunters by the returns. 



- 26 - 

A discussion ofs sex and age ratios, weather conditions 
during the post-hatching season, brood counts, hatching dates and 
hunter success is considered in this report, along with relevant 
data of each. 



A 



Sex and Age Ratios of Hunting Season 



Totals of 142 Ruffed Grouse, 63 Spruce Grouse and 31 Sharp- 
tailed Grouse wing and tail sets were useable. For the Ruffed Grouse, 
the length of tail criterium of 5 7/&" was used as a division point 
between the sexes. Age and sex were determined by the Hale et al 
(1954) method. In many cases, tails were in the blood quill stage, 
and secondary aids as per Hale were resorted to for sexing the birds. 

For the 63 complete Spruce grouse wing and tail sets, the 
main sex criterium used was the colour of the dorsal surface of the 
tail feathers. The male tails varied from charcoal to coal black in 
colour, while the female tails were generally rust-brown and barred. 

For the Sharptails, secondary aids to sexing proved to be 
the most suitable (as per the 195$ Special Wildlife Report of the 
Wisconsin Conservation Department). Many of the tails were in the 
blood quill stage and, as a result, the length criterium in sexing 
could not be used. Table 1 outlines the ages and sexes of the 
hunter-shot grouse. 



Table 1°. 

A Sex and Age Ratios of Grouse of Hunting Season 



1 






Sex Ratio of Ruffed Grouse 

(a) Adults 33 males, 26 females {56% M, 44$ F) 
Males per hundred females - 126 
1959 ratio - 172 males per hun- 
dred females. 






(b) Juveniles 46 males, 37 females (55% M, 45% 
Males per hundred females - 124 
1959 ratio - 9$ males per hun- 
dred females. 



F 



(c) Total Birds 79 males, 63 females {5$% M, 42% F) 

Males per hundred females - 126 
1959 ratio - 9$ males per hun- 
dred females. 

(d) Sex not determinable from tail - 19 

(IS juveniles, 1 adult) 



- 27 - 

2 Age Ratio 

(a) Juvenile s Adult ratio 

101 juveniles ; 60 adults (62 s 38) 
Juveniles per 100 adults ----- 167 
1959 juveniles per 100 adults - - 405 

(b) Juveniles per adult hens 1 
101 juveniles z 26 hens (79 l 21) 
Juveniles per 100 adult females - - - 3$$ 
1959 juveniles per 100 adult females 1100 

The preponderance of males to females in the Ruffed Grouse 
for I960 is difficult to explain, because the female juveniles in 1959 
outnumbered the males by four per cent. Admittedly, the sample size 
of both years is very small and therefore these ratios must be viewed 
with some skepticism,, 

The low juvenile to female ratio (3.9 S l) during the hunt- 
ing season would seem to indicate only a fair survival of young 
Ruffed Grouse prior to the opening of the hunting season. This is 
generally correlated with grouse in the declining phase of their 
cycle or in the upward phase, but short of their peak* It appears 
as if the Geraldton District is likely in the ascending stages of the 
cycle. A more favourable ratio is anticipated for the 1961 hunting 
season, barring an abnormally cold and wet post-hatching season. 
The high juvenile to hen ratio (11.0 ; l) for 1959 appears to be 
extremely high. Probably, the small wing-tail collection of that 
year was a big factor in the ratio. 

Table 2\ 

Sex-Age Ratios for Spruce Grouse 

^ o v" R^t i o^ 

(a) Adults - 6 male, 8 female (43% M, 56% F) 

Males per hundred females 75 
1959 ratio males per hundred 
females 67. 

(b) Juveniles - IS males, 23 females (44% M, 56% F) 

Males per hundred females 7$ 
1959 ratio males per hundred 
females 213. 

(c) Total Birds - 24 male, 31 female (44% M, 56% F) 

Males per hundred females 76 
1959 ratio males per hundred 
females 177» 

(d) Sex not determinable - 8 juveniles. 



- 23 - 



Age Ratio for Spruce Grouse 



(a) Juvenile i Adult ratio 

49 juveniles, 14 adults (77 i 23) 

Juveniles per 100 adults — 347 

1959 ratio juveniles per 100 adults 500 

(b) Juveniles per adult hens 

49 juveniles, 8 hens (80 ; 18) 

Juveniles per 100 hens — 603 

1959 ratio juveniles per 100 hens — 833 

Spruce Grouse appear to have had an excellent post breed- 
ing season judging from the juvenile to female ratio of 6.0 which 
compares favourably with the average of 5«0 juveniles per hen for 
the summer brood count s. It is possible that the Spruce Grouse are 
nearing the peak of their cycle in the Geraldton District. 

Table 3? 

Sex Age Ratios for Sharp-tailed Grouse 

Sex Ratios 

(a) Adult - 1 male, 3 female (2 5% M, 75% F) 

Males per hundred females 33 

(b) Juveniles - 8 male, 14 female (36% M, 64% F) 

Males per hundred females 57 

(c) Total Birds - 9 male and 17 female (3 5% M, 65% F) 

Males per hundred females 53 

(d) Sex Not Determinable - 1 adult, 4 juveniles 

A ge Ratios 

(a) Juvenile s adult ratio 

26 juveniles, 5 adults (84 : 16) 
Juveniles per hundred adults 520 

(b) Juveniles per adult hen - 26 juveniles, 
3 hens (90 ; 10) 

Juveniles per hundred hens 867 

This is felt to be too small a Sharptail sample from which 
to draw any definite conclusions. It appears that the Sharp-tailed 
Grouse had an excellent post-hatching survival based on the high 
juvenile to female ratio (867 s 100). The increased reports of 
sightings and kills of Sharptails in the Geraldton District are 
likely the result of a migration of birds from the north, where 
they are definitely nearing a cyclic peak. As noted previously, 
there were no data from 1959 with which to compare our I960 findings 



- 29 - 

B Temporal Distribution of Grouse Hatch 

Fifty-four juvenile Ruffed, twenty Spruce and sixteen 
Sharptails had not completely molted their primaries and were aged 
by the Hale et al. (1954) method. The majority of the Ruffed 
Grouse (62 per cent) hatched in the period from June 19 to July 2, 
with the week of June 26 - July 2 having 39 per cent of the hatch. 
June 26 - July 2 also saw most of the Sharptails hatch (87 per cent). 
The main period of the Spruce Grouse hatch was between June 19 and July 
2, with 60 per cent of the birds hatching then. Table 4 gives a 
breakdown of the hatching dates of the grouse. 



Table 4? 








1 Ruffed Grouse 








Hatching Period 


Number 
Juvenil 


of 

.es 


Percentage 
of Total 


May 29 - June 4 
June 5 June 11 
June 12 - June 18 
June 19 - June 2 5 
June 26 - July 2 
July 3 - July 9 
July 10 - July 16 
July 17 - July 23 
July 24 - July 30 



1 
7 
13 
21 
• 10 
1 

1 





1.8 

13.0 
24.0 
38.9 
IB. 5 

1.8 


1.8 




Total 54 




Total 99. 8 



In addition to the 54 Ruffed Grouse which could be aged 
definitely, there were 33 juveniles of age 17+. The main hatching 
period for the Ruffed Grouse (June 26 - July 2) appears to have been 
from one to two weeks late. No explanation for this is ventured, 
particularily in view of the mild, dry spring and summer experienced 
in the Geraldton District in I960. Average low temperatures ranged 
in the forties in June, with lowest temperatures in the thirties, 
with little frost. Precipitation was considered to be below normal 
for the early summer months for most of the district. Because 
weather conditions were considered compatible with grouse nesting, 
it does not appear to have delayed nesting of the birds. 

Table 5% 



2 Spruce Grouse 
H atching Period 



May 29 
June 5 
June 12 
June 19 
June 26 
July 3 
July 10 



June 4 
June 11 
June 18 
June 2 5 
July 2 
July 9 
July 16 



Number of 
Juveniles 


2 
3 
7 
5 
3 




Percentage 
of Total 


10.0 
15.0 
35.0 
25.0 
15.0 





Total 20 



Total 100 



- 30 - 



The week of June 19 - June 25 appeared to be the main period 
of Spruce Grouse hatching,. This period is closer to the accepted 
time of major hatch. In addition to the 20 juveniles of known date 
of hatching, there were 20 of age 17*K 



Table 6% 

3 Sharp-tailed Grouse 


Ni 
Ji 

al 




Hatching Period 

May 29 - June 4 
June 5 - June 11 
June 12 - June 18 
June 19 - June 2 5 
June 26 - July 2 
July 3 - July 9 
July 10 - July 16 

Tot, 


irnber of 
iveniles 

1 

14 
1 

16 



Percentage 
of Total 



6.3 

87.5 

6.3 

Total 100.1 



There were ten juveniles age 17-f in addition to the sixteen 
which could be aged in weeks. 

C Grouse Brood Counts 

A grouse brood count was carried out in the Geraldton 
District during the summer of I960. A total of 32 broods of Ruffed 
Grouse was counted in addition to which four Spruce Grouse broods 
were counted. This information was analyzed for semi-monthly periods 
from June 20, when the first brood was reported, to August 10 when 
the last brood was seen. Tables 7 and 8 give a breakdown of these 
data. 



Table 7°. 

1 Ruffed Grouse 



Period 


No. of Broods 
Reported 


June 15 - 30 
July 1-15 
July 15 - 31 
Aug. 1-10 


5 

15 
5 
7 



No. in Brood 




Average Brood 


for Period 




t 


3ize 


37 




7«4 


90 






6.0 


3 






6.0 


32 






_4»6 




Overall 




Total 189 


Av 


erage 


5o9 



Total 32 

No information on brood counts for 1959 is available for 
comparison with I960. The figures for June 15 - 30 seem to indicate 
a satisfactory grouse hatch. There does not seem to have been an 
abnormal mortality of juveniles between June and August 10. The 4»6 
juveniles to a hen for August 1-10 (considering one hen to a brood 
compares favourably with the ratio of 3»9 juveniles per female for 
the hunting season. Though the Ruffed Grouse do not appear to have 
had a "Peak" year in terms of juvenile survival up to the hunting 
season, survival is felt to have been satisfactory. 



- 31 - 



Table 8: 

2 Spruce Grouse 

Date Sighted 

June 29 

July 3 
Augo 2 
Augc 10 



No c of Broods 
Reported 

1 
1 

1 
1 



No e in Brood 
for Period 

6 

60verall 
3 Average 
$ of £ 



Total 



I*. 



20 



juveniles 
"per brood 



Though only four Spruce Grouse broods are considered, it 
appears as if the Spruce Grouse juveniles might have had a satis- 
factory survival from the post-nesting season to the hunting 
season. Because of the increased interest displayed in hunting 
this grouse, I would suggest it be included in all future brood 
counts c 

D Hunter Success 

A total of 63 Ruffed Grouse Hunter Success forms was sent 
to the Department, which was considered a poor return c The 
majority were sent in by fewer than a dozen hunters The tabulated 
results are shown in Tables 9 and 10 and are broken down into 
weekly results No similar data for 19^9 are available , 

For hunters on foot an average of 116 grouse were seen 
per hundred man-hours „ For these hunters, an average of 83 grouse 
were shot per hundred man-hours „ Of the 27 parties hunting on foot, 
6 or 22c 2 per cent used dogs c It is known, however, that one party 
sent five of the six returns which indicated the use of a dog It 
is unlikely that dogs are used by more than five per cent of the 
hunters in this District c 

Of the 101). grouse seen while hunting on foot, 7U- or 71 per 
cent were shot which is a favourable percentage c 

Hunters In cars saw an average of 8 e l grouse per hundred 
man car miles „ They shot 7o2 grouse per hundred man car miles, 
based on the entire i960 hunting season c Thirty-six (57 per cent) 
of the 63 returns were from hunters who hunted by car c It appears 
as if hunting by car is more widely practiced than hunting on foot 
in the Geraldton Districtc 



32 - 



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- 33 - 
SUMMARY: 

1. Complete wing and tail sets of 143 Ruffed, 63 

Spruce and 31 Sharp-tailed Grouse were collected in I960, 
These numbers were disappointingly small. 

2. Ruffed Grouse juvenile to hen ratio was 3.9. 
Spruce Grouse juvenile to hen ratio was 6.0. 
Sharp-tailed Grouse juvenile to hen ratio was #.7. 

3« Ruffed Grouse have probably not yet reached a 
cyclic si high s; . 

4. Most Ruffed Grouse Hatched in the period from 
June 26 - July 2 (39 per cent). Main Spruce 
Grouse Hatch - June 19-2 5. Main Sharptail hatch 
- June 26 - July 2. 

5. For Ruffed Grouse brood counts there was an overall 
average of 5*9 juveniles per hen for the summer. 

For Spruce Grouse there was an average of 5 juveniles 
per brood for the summer. 

6. A total of 63 Ruffed Grouse hunter success forms was sent 
in. 

7. Hunters on foot saw an average of 116 grouse per 
hundred man-hours. Grouse shot numbered 83 per 
hundred man-hours. 

$. Hunters in cars sighted an average of 8.1 grouse 
per 100 man car miles. 

9. Fifty-seven per cent of the hunters hunted by car 
and 43 per cent hunted on foot. 

Literature Cited 

Hale, James B., Robert F. Wendt and George C. Halazon, 1954. 
Sex and Age Criteria For Wisconsin Ruffed Grouse. Technical 
V/ildl. Bull. Ho. 9o Wisconsin Conservation Department, 
Madison, Wisconsin. 24 pp. 



- 34 - 



HILL'S LAKE HATCHERY 
EXPERIMENT # 10 

FISH COUNTER EVALUATION PROJECT 



by 
No D. Patrick 



Abstract 

During the early part of I960., an electronic fish 
counting system under development by the United States 
Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service 
was tested at Hill's Lake Provincial Fish Hatchery. 
The limited tests carried out indicated thats (a) in 
its present form, the counting system is not readily 
adaptable to the type of fish culture operation car- 
ried out at Hill's Lake, although it appears to have 
considerable potential, and (b) this type of equip- 
ment has obvious and immediate uses in the field of 
fisheries management, particularly where "runs" of 
spawning fish are involved. 



I ntroduction 

Inventory methods in use now at Hill's Lake Hatchery are 
time-consuming, laborious and sometimes of questionable accuracy, 
and the search for a better method led to correspondence between 
this District and United States Department of the Interior. 

Dr. Julius Rockwell, Jr., Chief, Fish Counting Program, 
Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Biological Laboratory in Seattle, 
Washington, indicated that their Service was developing a fish count- 
ing apparatus for field operations which might prove useful in the 
hatchery. As a result of further negotiations, a fish counting unit 
was loaned to the Ontario Department of Lands & Forests for one year 
in order to test the equipment at Hill's Lake Hatchery, to provide 
information of use to both organizations. Testing was carried out 
according to the procedures outlined in the manual supplied 
(Rockwell and Lucich I960). 

A cknowledgement s 

The writer is indebted to Dr. Julius Rockwell and his 
associates for the loan of the equipment and their instruction and 
advice on its operation. The assistance of G. F. Coyne, District 
Forester, who completed the agreement with the U, S, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, and the assistance of P. Graf, Assistant Hatchery Manager at 
Hill's Lake Hatchery are also gratefully acknowledged. 



- 35 - 

Objective 

To test the electronic fish counting system presently under 
development by the United Stated Department of the Interior, Fish 
and Wildlife Service, and evaluate it in terms of use for inventory 
in the hatchery operation. 

Method 

Persons interested in the detailed operation of the count- 
ing system are referred to the literature (available from the 
library at Maple). In simple terms, the fish are counted as they 
pass through a specially designed tunnel, a balanced Wheatstone 
bridge system utilizing two bridges and a four-way relay logic net- 
work utilizes the difference between specific resistance of fish 
and fresh water to detect passage and determine direction. 

The equipment was received and checked in December, 1959* 
and arrangements were made to prepare the necessary screens and 
install the wiring in the hatchery building. A special trough was 
set up and the first preliminary assembly of the equipment was car- 
ried out in February, I960. Tests were carried out during February, 
March and April, at which time a serious flood necessitated dis- 
mantling the equipment. Flooding and poor road conditions were such 
that the entire hatchery operation was delayed for six weeks so that 
neither manpower nor space were again available to make further 
tests. 

All testing carried out was done with a one inch diameter 
tunnel mounted in a trough as shown in Plates 1 and 2. A known 
number of speckled trout were placed downstream from the tunnel and 
permitted to swim up through the tunnel against the current. In 
mounting, the tunnel was inadvertently installed in reverse so that 
upstream movements were recorded on the downstream register. Re- 
cords have been corrected to show the proper movement. The trough 
was covered to eliminate the effect of excitement from external 
stimuli on the fish behaviour. 

At the end of a specified time interval, the fish above 
and below the tunnel were hand counted and the counts recorded on 
the electronic counter were tallied. A new group of fish were used 
in each test to eliminate the '''experience" factor in behaviour. 

The fish used were sampled on March 15th, I960, and found 
to range in total length from 3.0" to 4-75 with an average of 3o3 n . 
Those used in February would be somewhat smaller, and in the April 
tests, they were an estimated 1/4" longer. 

It became obvious that if the fish were left in the count- 
ing trough for several hours, they began moving back down through 
the tunnel. - A series of tests were run to determine how and if 
this was related to time as well as test the accuracy of the counts 
obtained. Lots of 500 fish were placed below the tunnel and left 
for varying periods of time from 1 hour to 20 hours. A second test 
using lots of 1,000 fish were terminated by the floods. 



- 36 - 
PLATE 1. LAYOUT OF FISH COUNTER 
Hills Lake - Lar. I960 



Building Wall 



[llllll 

^\T\ Power Source 



^T 



Trough 



Water 
Flow 



Water Supply X 




£ 



;>Detecter 
J-Detecter 



Register 
Unit 

on 



TABLE 

Null and 

Voltage 

Tester 



D D£ 



lance 
its 



^-**. Trough Dimensions - Width - 12" 

Length 140" 
Depth rjjj 
(Water r ' 

Counting 
Tunnel 



Tunnel 
Mounting 




DETAIL OF 

MOUNTING 



Screen 



Drain 



Balance 
Tunnel 




Tunnel 

Wire 
Screen 



«^ Wooden 
\ Frame 
(l"xl J >) 



- 37 - 

PLATE 2. PLAN OF TUNNEL MOUNTING 
Hills Lake, Mar. I960. 




Fine Wire Mesh 
Screen Cone 



ouble Flange 
To HoJLd Screen 

and Tunnel 




Counting 
Tunnel 



jo ^. 



CjA" Bolt 



l"xl" 

Wooden 
Frame 



INSERT 




Wire Screen 
Insert 



r ~<^— Counting 
Tunnel 






"x 



- 36 - 



Observations 



Records of the various tests are presented in Table I and 
the following comments are made for these tests. 

F eb. 19 - This was preliminary familiarization testing and adjusting 
of the equipment. 

Feb« 25 (a) The first tunnel mounting (see Plate 1) appeared to 
impede passage of the fish because of the l ,f shoulder surrounding 
the tunnel. This reduced passages to 29 in 40 minutes, a rate 
obviously too slow for our purposes. There were no double passages, 
however, and the equipment functioned well. 

(b) A wire screen sleeve was inserted into the tunnel mount 
(see Plate 2) which speeded up passage (42 in 15 mins.), but per- 
mitted or stimulated double passages so that a counter error of 10 
in 42 passages was recorded. Three instances of a double passage 

(2 fish head to tail recording as one) were actually observed. This 
sleeve was used in the remainder of the tests. 

(c) 5$6 fish were left in the counting trough for IS hours 
after which time there were 5^5 fish above the tunnel and 1 fish 
remaining below. The counting equipment showed 572 upstream pas- 
sages and 26 downstream passages.. As a result, at least 5$5 fish 
passed up once, and an additional 26 passed down and up again mak- 
ing the total known upstream passages 611. This gives a minimum 
counter error of -39 or 6.4% of the known passages, 

Mar. 13 - Seven hundred fish were placed below the counting tunnel 
and left for 17 hours. The resulting electronic count of upstream 
passages was in error by a minimum of -Si or 11.7$ of the 693 known 
up stream passages. 

f iar. 15 - Six hundred and twelve fish placed below the tunnel and 
left for 21 hours. The resulting electronic count of upstream 
passages was in error by a minimum of -222 passages or 31.9$ of 
695 known upstream passages. 

These tests were carried out forthe main purpose of fami- 
liarizing personnel with the operation of the equipment. A planned 
series of tests to determine the amount of error in counting, and 
the time required for counting was started in April and the data 
for these tests are recorded in Tables 1 and 2. Plates 3 and 4 show 
the relationship between time interval and known passages recorded 
and percentage of fish remaining to be counted. It appears that 
there is a definite "breaking point''' at about 8 hours where most of 
the "new" fish have been counted. At this point "double passages 1 ' 
apparently reach a minimum and the error between known and recorded 
passages becomes relatively constant. At this point also, downstream 
passages begin to distort the records. 



TABLE I - DATA RECORDED DURING TESTS OF THE ELECTRONIC FISH COUNTER, 























DATE 


NO 

FISH 

USED 


TIME 

INTERVAL 


PASSAGES 
RECORDED 


FINAL FISH 
COUNT 


OBSERVED 

MINIMUM 

ERROR 


UP 


DOWN 


ABOVE 


BELOW 


Feb. 


19 







15 rain. 


P 


3 


6 


5 


— 


Feb. 


25 


(a) 


100 


40 min. 


29 





29 


71 


Nil 


Feb. 


25 


(b) 





15 min. 


32 





42 





-10 


Feb. 


25 


(c) 


586 


18 hrs. 


572 


26 


585 


1 


-39 


Mar. 


13 




700 


17 hrs. 


612 


46 


647 


53 


-81 


Mar. 


15 




612 


21 hrs. 


484 


105 


601 


11 


-222 


Apr. 


20 


(a) 


500 


1 hr. 


95 


1 


99 


401 


-5 


Apr. 


20 


(b) 


500 


20 hrs. 


439 


18 


498 


2 


-77 


Apr. 


21 




500 


2 hrs. 


139 





167 


333 


-28 


Apr. 


25 


(a) 


500 


4 hrs . 


177 


1 


234 


266 


-58 


Apr. 


25 


(b) 


500 


15 hrs. 


436 


34 


482 


18 


-80 


Apr. 


26 


(a) 


500 


6 hrs. 


317 


8 


424 


76 


-115 


Apr. 


26 


(b) 


500 


10 hrs. 


409 


10 


488 


12 


• -89 


Apr. 


27 




500 


8 hrs. 


346 


7 


492 


8 


-153 


Apr. 


23 




1000 


20 hrs. 


873 


102 


970 


30 


-199 


Apr. 


29 




1000 


1 hr. 


71 





128 


872 

i 


-57 



- 39 - 



- 40 .- 



PLATE 3, KNOWN AND RECORDED PASSAGES RELATED TO TIME 



en 

CD 
cd 

CO 

CO 

CO 

PL, 

Oh 
O 

u 

CD 
X* 




5 10 15 

Time Interval - Hours 



20 



- 41 - 



PLATE 4. PERCENTAGES OF KNOWN PASSAGES RECORDED 
AND FISH REMAINING UNCOUNTED AS RELATED 
TO TIME. 



100 



CD 
hO 
CO 
-P 
G 
CD 
O 
Jh 
CD 



80 



- o 



60 



40 



20 




0/ Known passages recorded 

+-i± *V 4- 



% Fish Remaining 
Uncounted 



J L 



j i 




-Lit III I 



jS> 



10 15 

Time Interval - Hours 



20 



- 42 - 

TABLE 2 - ELECTRONIC COUNTER DATA USING 500 FINGERLING SPECKLED TROUT 






TIKE 

INTERVAL 
HOURS 


NO, UP 
PASSAGES 
RECORDED 


MINIMUM 

NO. KNOWN 
PASSAGES 


% KNOWN 
PASSAGES 
RECORDED 


% FISH 
REMINING 
UNCOUNTED 


NO. DOWN 
PASSAGES 
RECORDED 




1 


95 


100 


95 




80.0 




1 


2 


139 


167 


S3 




67.0 







4 


177 


235 


75 




53,0 




1 


6 


317 


432 


73 




15.0 




8 


8 


346 


499 


69 




1.6 




7 


10 


409 


498 


82 




2.4 




10 


15 


436 


516 


82 




3.6 




34 


20 


439 


516 


83 




0.4 




18 


Discussion 

















The electronic fish counting system tested is being 
designed primarily for field use and already involves a great many 
modifications to suit the unit for the particular counting site. 
Work already completed and still in progress indicates that with a 
few exceptions the counting system in its present stage of develop- 
ment is of immediate use in a number of types of field investiga- 
tions. The factors which influence its operation are many, and the 
counter cannot as yet be used without considerable study of the 
system and the conditions at the site where it is to be used. 
However, its use in future promises to contribute to the solution 
of one of the obstacles in the path of the fish manager - that of 
determining absolute numbers of fish. 

As far as the application of this type of counting system 
to hatchery operations is concerned, further development and study 
are required before practical application can be expected. The 
counter itself does its job well and appears to be very reliable 
i f the fish to be counted can be made to pass through the tunnels 
properly . The use in the hatchery is simplified for two reasons? 

(a) fish to be counted are all of a relatively uniform size. 

(b) generally, only one species at a time is involved. 

On the other hand, problems not normally encountered in 
field operations required modifications of the equipment design or 
the mounting designs 

(a) Large numbers of fish are involved and these are confined in 
relatively small spaces so that multiple passage becomes a 
serious factor. 

(b) As a result of confinement, passage in either direction becomes 



- 43 - 



a problem which is related to time of confinement in the count- 
ing trough or raceway, 

(c) It is quite possible that '* experience** of fish in the counting 
apparatus would become a factor. 

The problem of adapting the counting system becomes ob- 
viously one of assessing the behaviour patterns of the fish involved 
and designing tunnels and mountings to suit. This will be a time- 
consuming task and most likely will have to be done at each site - 
with each species of fish involved, and possibly with each age class 
of fish. If this can be done, however, there are some very obvious 
advantages to be gaineds (a) Accuracy. (b) Time - the counter can 
operate on a 24 hour day and could conceivably be counting while 
hatchery staff are employed at other functions. 

C onclusions 

The electronic fish counting system cannot in its present 
form be readily used for hatchery inventory work without consider- 
able further study. It has obvious advantages over conventional 
methods, however, and its development for hatchery use is considered 
worthwhile. 

Application of this device to field investigations appears 
to be possible now and its potential is considerable. There is 
little doubt that as fisheries management in Ontario becomes more 
intensive, the need for equipment such as this will increase and 
this particular type of unit will probably come into common useage. 



NOTE ; Detailed notes including all data taken on the tests are 
recorded at Swastika District Office. File 3-9-2-7, #10. 

R eferences 

Anonymous - Electric Fish Counter, Mimeo. Rep. U. S. F. & W. Serv. 
Seattle, Washington, April 17, 1959* 4 pp« 

Chambers, John S. - Progress Report March 1, I960 - March 31, I960. 
Mimeo. Rep., Wash. Dept. of Fisheries. 

Rockwell, Julius Jr. and Sung Pal Chur. - An Underwater Observation 
Chamber. Prog. Fish Cult. July, 1959 - 131 - 134. 

Rockwell, Julius Jr. and George M. Lucich - Fish Counter Evaluation 
Program. Mimeo. Manual, U. S. F. & W. Serv., Seattle, 
Wash., I960. 153 pp»(This is operator's manual and is in 
^constant revision.) 



Stokes, John W. - Counting Small Fish with a Camera 
U. S. F. & W. Serv., Seattle, Wash., I960 



Mimeo. Rep 
3 pp. 



- 44 - 

Suetake, Toshio - On the Recording Equipment Taking a Count of Salmon 
- Number by the Utilization of Photo-electric Cell 
(Preliminary Note). Scientific Reports Hokkaido Fish 
Hatchery 10 (1) (2) ; 73 - Si, Dec, 1955. Mimeo. Report 
of Translation by R.Y.M. Ting, edited by J. Rockwell Jr, 
Trans. Series # 28 U. S. F. & W. Serv , Seattle, Wash. 
1959. 

Van Haagen, R. H. and Julius Rockwell Jr. - Directional Fish Counter 
for Field Use. The Review of Scientific Instruments, 31 
(3) 342 - 343. foar., I960. 



- 45 - 

Appendix I 

The following pages show fish counter evaluation sheets 
No ? s. A and B as submitted to the Fish Counting Laboratory. This 
type of data is submitted from each counting system in use in the 
co-operative evaluation programme in order to permit uniform assess- 
ment and evaluation of operation by the laboratory,, 



43 
O 
CO 




-, ^ -, 







Ph 


1 

■ 


1 

• 


1 

• 


1 
e 




































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- 43 - 
REPORT ON PENAGE LAKE ANGLING SUCCESS, I960 



by 
D, Ro Hughson 



Abstract 

A creel census was conducted to study angling success 
in Penage Lake c Daily records of the I960 catch were 
kept in order that a comparison could be made between 
winter and summer fishing pressures . It was estimated 
that 90 per cent of lake trout angling pressure comes 
in January, February and March with an estimated lake 
trout catch of 700 lbs. for the winter of I960. The 
catch of lake trout for the balance of the year was 
estimated at 300 lbs. The intensity of winter angling 
pressure depends to a large extent on snow conditions . 
During the winter of I960, $5$ anglers fished for a 
total of 6,006 hours to catch 97 lake trout and 5$ 
yellow pickerel. This represented an angling success 
of 1.6 lake trout and 1.0 pickerel per 100 rod-hours 
or 2.6 fish per 100 rod-hours. In the author's opi- 
nion the most important factor in maintaining the 
lake trout fishery in this lake is the maintenance of 
a constant water level through the fall and winter 
period. 



Introduction : 

During the past few years in the Sudbury District there 
has developed a feeling of alarm over the great increase in winter 
anglers and also the poor angling success experienced on occasion 
during the summer months. These are immediately related and the 
feeling is that our major trout and pickerel producing lakes are 
unable to stand up to year round angling. Recommendations have 
been made to close the season on trout and pickerel during the win- 
ter months. These recommendations come mainly from tourist out- 
fitters who stand to make little, if any, profit from winter angling 
and also cottage owners who have had their trees cut, firewood burnt 
and occasionally their buildings broken into during their absence 
through the winter months. Non-resident anglers, experiencing poor 
success in the summer are told of the large catches made in the 
winter and usually come to the conclusion that this is the reason 
they have had poor fishing on their vacation. 

Those engaged in winter angling are generally men employed 
in mines working underground through the week. Their main benefit 
from ice fishing is recreational rather than in pounds of fish taken, 
A few of these people have camps on the lakes they are fishing and 
engage in summer angling as well. 



- 49 - 

With the problem increasing each year, particularly on 
Penage Lake s it appeared necessary to find out the number of people 
engaged in both winter and summer angling and to determine the 
number and size of fish being taken from the lake during these 
periods. 

Objective ; 

With some actual counts obtained from a creel census, we 
can properly evaluate the importance of winter fishing and compare 
it with the summer fishery, and thereby, present the public with 
reasons for any decision made regarding the closure of winter 
angling o 

If the main opposition to winter angling stems from 
destruction of private property, then some other solution to this 
problem should be sought, rather than closing the season on trout 
and pickerel. If, on the other hand, year round angling puts too 
great a pressure on our lakes, we should take steps to correct 
thiso 

Methods ; 

At the suggestion of Fish and Wildlife Supervisor, C, F, 
Bibby, the author commenced a creel census on January 3rd, I960 and 
continued the same to date (April, 1961). 

The winter census was done in late afternoon when the 
anglers were leaving the lake. As they all leave the lake at 
one place it was possible to obtain a nearly 100 per cent check. 
This work was done one day per week, usually a Sunday, so as to 
obtain the largest possible sample. The various sections of the 
lake were patrolled during the early part of the day at which time 
enforcement and public relations work was carried out, as well as 
collecting scale samples and measurements. This patrol was carried 
out by car when conditions permitted and on skiis when the snow 
became deep. 

The summer work was done mainly in the evening. Weekend 
patrols were also made either on a Saturday or Sunday, This was 
done using the Fish and Wildlife patrol boat and motor stationed at 
Penage Lake, 

Through the winter, party size and total catch by species 
were recorded as the anglers were leaving the lake. If the party 
had fished all day, seven hours was recorded per angler. This figure 
was used for the average, as the majority of the anglers were located 
on the lake by 10; 00 a,m, and were leaving between 5 and 6; 00 p,mc 
If the party fished only a few hours, an allowance for this was 
made. During the summer the hours spent angling were recorded, as 
fishing was irregular. 

Winter angling success is calculated in man-days angling 
to obtain one fish (trout or pickerel) and fish per 100 rod-hours, 
Table III, The daily catch record is shown on Table I, which shows 
date of census, number of anglers and fish caught by species. 



- 50 - 

Angling success by the month is shown in Table II. This shows 
number of anglers, total hours and fish by species, caught each 
month. It gives lake trout angling success in trout per rod-hour 
(the summer angling for trout was selective, while in the winter 
pickerel were caught during the same time). Also, in Table II, fish 
per 100 rod-hours is shown for each month which includes lake trout; 
yellow pickerel; smallmouth bass; and northern pike, along with 
per cent of total censused hours spent each month, 

Penage Lake : 

Penage Lake is one of the largest lakes in the Sudbury 
District, having a surface area of approximately 13,000 acres and 
over 300 miles of shoreline. It is located twenty miles southwest 
of Sudbury, the major part of the lake lying within the townships 
of Dieppe, Caen and Truman. 

There are at present over 200 private cottages, as well 
as 11 commercial operators on this lake, which is only a forty-five 
minute drive from Sudbury on good surface roads. 

The shoreline of Penage is mainly rock, having only a 
few sandy beaches and seven marshy bays. The majority of the in- 
coming water comes from the Long Lake watershed, as well as six 
fairly large creeks. 

The Penage waterlevel is controlled by a dam between 
Penage and Walker Lakes. Waterlevels are maintained within a 
range of twelve inches, except during spring runoff. Particular 
attention is given to the fall waterlevel, which is maintained 
through the majority of the winter in an effort to ensure lake 
trout reproduction. Little or no drop in this level is made until 
March, 

Fish species found in the lake are as follows? 



lake trout, 
smallmouth bass, 
white fish, 
northern pike, 
perch, 
rock bass, 
mottled sculpin, 

Summary and Conclusion : 



yellow pickerel, 

largemouth bass, 

lake herring, 

ling, 

brown bullhead, 

sucker, 

numerous minnow species. 



Lake trout appears to be the species most vulnerable to winter 
angling, due mainly to the heavy angling pressure at this time. 
(Ninety per cent of trout angling pressure comes in January, 
February and March,) 

Penage Lake having a total surface area of IB, 000 acres, most 
of which has adequate depth for lake trout production could 
possibly produce 5 3 000 to 7>000 pounds of lake trout annually 
based on 0.5 lbs, per acre. An estimate of the total catch in 
lake trout from Penage in the winter of I960 would be 700 pounds. 
An estimate of the yearly catch would be in the vicinity of 1,000 
pounds. 



- 51 - 

3, Winter angling pressure will vary from year to year and this 
will to a large extent depend on snow conditions. On weekends 
when good driving is experienced, 200 to 400 anglers can be 
expected and catches of from fifty to one hundred pounds of 
trout. When driving is impossible 20 to 30 anglers turn out 
and the catch in trout is down to ten to twenty pounds., 

4<> Large catches reported being made in the winter are rare. On 
no occasion during the checking of $5& anglers in the winter 
of I960 did any angler have his limit in trout or pickerel* 
For every good catch, there were many people who went home with 
no. fisho 

5, Penage Lake does at times produce good fishing, and while not 
comparable with the reported catches of the 1940 ! s, is produc- 
ing trout and pickerel of all sizes , 

60 Camp owners, while doing some angling during the summer spend 
the majority of their time around camp and/or boating and water 
skiing, 

Recommendations and Suggestions ; 

It is the opinion of the author that a factor more important 
to maintaining the lake trout fishery, than closing the season during 
the winter months, is the maintenance of a constant water level through 
the fall and winter period. The water level is controlled under the 
supervision of the Senior Conservation Officer and the main concern 
during this period is the trout spawn. With the season closed during 
spawning time, thus leaving the trout undisturbed on the spawning 
beds and with a constant water level, we are obtaining the best 
possible reproduction of this desirable species, 

I think it advisable to continue this creel census with 
an attempt being made to obtain a higher sample, particularly 
during the summer months. The Department should have the figures 
by which to compare fishing pressure and angling success over a 
number of years, as well as estimates of total catch each year. 
These figures should replace opinions and unrecorded observations. 

It is important to have a record of winter angling for 
lake trout each year, as it appears that during winters of little 
snow the heavy angling pressure could bring about the deterioration 
of trout fishing, because of the annual trout yield being low and 
the catching of many immature lake trout during winter as pointed 
out by Dr, H, H, Mac Kay, 

The author would like to recommend at this time that in 
view of the possibility of extremely heavy angling pressure being 
retained throughout a winter of little snow, that the closure of 
this lake be left to the District, If it appeared in the early 
part of the winter that winter angling was going to remove more 
than the production, the season on trout and pickerel, could be 
closed. Other lakes in the district could be managed in the same 
manner, I believe this would be far better than a closed or open 
season governed only by public pressure. 



- 52 - 

Acknowledgments ° 

Thanks is due to Mr. C. F„ Bibby s under whose direction 
the census was started and whose knowledge of Penage Lake assisted 
greatly in this project,, 

Thanks must also go to the many anglers who gave their 
full co-operation during this census 



- 53 - 

TABLE I 

DAILY RECORD OF CATCH, I960 



. Date 


AM <J o 

Anglers 


Trout 
2 


Pickerel 
1 


, L ing 


Whitefish Bass 


Pike 


i Jan„ 3 


11 




1 10 


46 


4 


1 2 








1 17 ' 


305 


1 21 


30 


7 






1 24 1 


218 


14 


5 


3 


1 1 




1 31 


89 


18 


1 8 


i ^ 






1 Febo 7 


21 




1 








i 1L > 


19 


4 










21 


14 


4 


1 3 








| 28 


40 


11 


| 3 


1 






1 Mar. 6 


29 


5 


1 3 








1 12 


16 


7 


1 








13 


27 












20 


23 


7 


2 


5 






1 May 21 


12 


3 










22 


2 


2 








1 


23 


11 












' June 4 


43 




18 






7 


1 5 


11 










1 


11 


40 1 




14 






4 


1 18 


18 




3 








| 26 


1 lg 


1 


1 








1 July 2 


1 56 


1 


5 




15 I 


2 


1 9 


1 44 




3 








10 


i x 9 


4 






1 




15 


1 7 1 













17 


1 44 1 


2 1 


7 , 




J 30 


9 


24 


38 


4 | 


5 




14 


7 


1 Aug. 7 


1 12 




3 




7 




14 


1 39 


3 






21 




21 


I 35 ! 


5 


1 




23 1 





- 54 - 

TABLE II 

ANGLING SUCCESS BY MONTH, I960 





No. 




Lake 


Yellow 


S,M, 




Total 




Month 


Anglers 


Hours 


Trout 


Pickere! 


Bass 


Pike 


Fish 


Jan„ 
Feb. 
Mar, 


669 
94 
95 


4683 
658 
66£ 


59 
19 

19 


45 
7 
6 






104 
26 
25 




Winter" 


858 

25 

130 

208 

89 


6006 


97 


5^ 






155 




May 


69 
262 
461 
198 


5 

1 

11 

8 


36 

20 
4 


70 
51 


1 
12 

18 


6 

49 

119 

63 




Summers 


452 
; 1310 


990 


_2£ 


60 


121 


?1 


2?7 




Yearly Total 


6996 


122 


118 


121 


31 


392 





The winter figures would represent 20 to 30 per cent of the entire 
winter fishery. As for the summer angling, it would be 
difficult to estimate with any degree of accuracy what' 
percentage the figures represent of the total, as angling 
was irregular o 

LAKE TROUT ANGLING SUCCESS BY MONTH 
AND AVERAGE SIZE IN TOTAL LENGTH 



',! B ', 



Month 



January 
February 

March 

May 
June 
July 
August 



Trout per 
Rod/Hour 

,01 
,03 
,03 

,22 
,02 
,12 
,11 



Average Size in 

Inches 
( Total Length ) 

19»5 
17«6 
17.8 

19a 
25d 
18,2 
24o7 



Angling for lake trout during the summer was only 3 «6$ of the total 
time spent fishing for trout, but produced 20,5% of the total 
trout" caught. 



if p.? 



- 55 - 

TABLE II 
MONTHLY ANGLING SUCCESS 
AND DISTRIBUTION OF ANGLING HOURS 





Fish per 100 

Rod/hours 
Any Species 


Percentage of 
Total 

Angling Hours 


January 
February 

March 


1.7 

3.9 
3o7 


66,9$ 
9.k% 
9.5% 


May 
June 
July 
August 


8„7 
18,7 
25.3 
31o3 


l.Qfo 

3o7% 
6.6$ 
2 $% 




TABI 


,E III 



WINTER ANGLING SUCCESS FOR LAKE 
TROUT AND YELLOW PICKEREL^ I960 



$58" anglers fishing for a total of 6,006 hours took 97 lake 
trout and 5& yellow pickerelo The angling success was, there- 
fore 8 1«6 trout and 1,0 pickerel per 100 rod-hours or 2«6 
fish per 100 rod-hours. In terms of catch to the individual 
fisherman, it took 5<>5 days angling to catch one fish, either 
trout or pickerel in the winter of I960, 



Fishing pressure on this lake during the winter is directly 
related to snow conditions, when it is possible to drive on 
the ice, large numbers engage in anglingo When the snow is 
deep the anglers are only one-tenth as numerous «■ 


















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